Property Review: Iron Man

The first coming of Tony Stark is one of the best MCU origin stories

Iron Man
Marvel Studios, 2008

The one that started them all. The metaphorical start of Robert Downey Jr.’s comic book-like redemption arc. The birthplace of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The beginning of the beginning. All of these titles are appropriate for Iron Man, the 2008 origin story of veteran Avenger Tony Stark. Another title to throw in there? Magnificent.

It’s not just the tight story telling or excellent acting chops of the main cast. It’s also seeing Stark make his turn into the Avenger we all know and love. Stark starts out super hedonistic and self-serving. Through his wounding and subsequent capture by the Ten Rings organization, little by little, you see Stark have the needed epiphany that he was, in fact, War Machine, not Iron Man. Half of its fun ride comes from this need to see him come to that realization. The other half is, of course, learning that Stark can apply his genius for good and productive ways while still being the billionaire philanthropic playboy he declares himself to be to Steve Rogers in the later Avengers film.

Where Iron Man particularly succeeds, however, is the parallel Stark shares with perfect portrayer Robert Downey Jr. What most new generation Marvel fans don’t realize is, is when Iron Man was casted, Downey Jr. was not the bankable star that he is now. The man’s past is well known to older fans and caused several — including himself — to pause.

But the single most compelling thing about Downey Jr. is his will to better himself, work every day like most others to redeem himself and grow. That indomitable will shows in every second that Downey Jr. is Tony Stark/Iron Man. He is Iron Man. He is the living embodiment of the character who struggled to redeem himself and be a team player. Downey Jr. is such perfect casting that there is no one else that could ever step into the role. He became the character.

And for all that Iron Man succeeds in doing bombastically, it quietly sets up the rest of the cinematic universe perfectly. Iron Man in its stumbling glory is what we now know as the standard for a Marvel movie. It makes Stark relatable, tells his superhero origin story and sets up future films with a deftness that reminds us that there is, in fact, a plan for all of this. Now that we’ve seen that plan unfold, we can come back and praise the beginning for all that it is. The heart and soul of the MCU lives on.

Like the comics: 8

Acting: 8.5

Story: 8

Total: 24.5/30 or 8

HOW WE GRADE

We score the properties in three categories: Casting (or voice acting in cases of animated), plot and similarities to its source material. Each category receives points out of the maximum of 10 per category and 30 overall. The percentage is the final score.

Top 5 on The Strip: WTF lines from Ultimate Avengers

BY JAMIE MOSLEY/Gaming Insurrection

Is there anything better than watching your favorite superheroes using their superpowers to save the world from certain doom? The answer: Yes, listening to those same superheroes deliver some of the best and memorable lines you will hear at some of the best moments in Marvel’s Ultimate Avengers animated film. This quarter, we salute the Avengers crew’s witty delivery in the face of danger.

Tony Stark (to Black Widow): “I’m free for nightcaps later. Interested? You can bring your gun.”

A billionaire by day and Iron Man by night, Stark is known to have a soft spot for the ladies. He has never met a woman who has resisted him or that would ever turn him down. So, when the Black Widow meets Mr. Moneybags and undresses him using her gun, the billionaire isn’t turned off, making him more hardcore than that other billionaire who wears a cape.

Bruce: “Any questions?”

Lab workers raise hands

Bruce: “Any questions not about the Hulk?”

Lab workers lower hands.

This genius is known for his brilliant mind and his hulking desire to destroy when he is angry. He is willing to do whatever it takes to be with the love of his life, Betty. That includes leading a lab trying to redevelop the Super Soldier Serum. Sometimes, people in his lab just ask too many questions.

After taking a beating from Hulk, Captain America walks up to the Hulk.

Captain America: “Hey! We are not done yet!”

Captain America then punches Hulk in the face … twice.

This all-American soldier is known for inspiring everyone — team members and readers alike — to be the best person you can be. But Cap also practices what he preaches.

Thor: “… and though we are but peaceful protesters, do not assume that we cannot be provoked.”

Whale hunter shoots at Thor

Thor: “ Like that.”

Lightning and wind batters the hunters

The son of Odin is no pushover. But, he doesn’t openly look for fights; he fights for only what he believes in. So, Thor, who, is from Norway — one of two countries that still hunts whales — is helping a group of people protect the whales from whale hunters. A noble cause, indeed. And all protests are peaceful unless he is provoked

Giant Man (while holding Hulk in his hand): “You’re still a little man, Banner. Now, knock it off or I’m gonna squish you.”

Hulk breaks the hold and grabs Giant Man by the neck. Hulk then punches Hank in the knee, breaking it.

The Hulk doesn’t have to speak for you to understand what he wants. You just know when he looks at you to either run or hope that Hulk is distracted by the time he gets to you. In fact, Hulk is the only person on the list who doesn’t have an actual spoken line. Hardcore.